Friday, July 22, 2011

I have a dream

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friends Don't Let Friends: Miss Blueberry Pie

I am not a huge pie baker.  I'll do an apple pie or a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving but that tends to be it.  Fussing about with dough isn't my favorite thing and in the past, I have to admit, I would be lazy and buy prepared pie crusts to use.

I know, I know, it's pathetic.  But I just hated to cut in the butter/shortening and then roll the dough out, etc.  But really, I don't have much of an excuse.  The food processor with the dough blade does most of the hard work for you.

So, in honor of our 3 year Veggie-versary (which was this past week) and the fact that my husband came home with 12 pints of blueberries from the Farmer's market, I decided on a whim to make blueberry pies. 

Instead of making 1 big pie, I decided to use my individual pizza pans and make two half-sized pies.  Half the size, double the fun!  I went to my favorite vegan baking cookbook, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's The Joy of Vegan Baking, and found a perfect pie recipe.

One thing to note, this did take me a while with the freezing/refrigerating of the dough and the baking time, but if you get the cookbook, you can actually make dough ahead of time and freeze it, or go for pre-made pie dough.  Once you have that done, the pie filling is easy peasy, so no excuses!
For the crust:

Making pie crust is easier than it seems, but you just have to pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients - keep everything as cold as possible. CPG suggests putting everything - flour mix, cut-up shortening, water and rolling pin - in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to mixing. You also can't mix it too long or it becomes doughy rather than flaky.

This makes enough for a lower and upper pie crust on one 9" pie. When I made my pies I still had plenty of dough leftover for another pie crust bottom or I may make pie pops another day.


2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable shortening (alternate: 1/2 c. vegetable shortening and 1/2 c. nondairy butter such as EarthBalance sticks), cut up into little chunks

1/3 - 1/2 c. plus 1 tbsp. ice cold water


Measure out all the ingredients and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before you start cooking.

Use a food processor or hand mixer to combine the flour, sugar, and salt - about 10 seconds.

Add the butter/shortening and pulse until the fat turns to pea-sized pieces.

Drizzle in the ice water and pulse until there are no dry spots left. I scraped down the sides a few times to make sure it was well combined but not a giant clump of dough.

You should be able to press the dough into two balls by hand. If not, add a tiny bit more water.

Press the dough into two flattened balls and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to a few days. You can also freeze it for 6 months.

When the dough is chilled, roll it out on a well-floured surface. Make sure not to warm the dough with your hands.

Transfer the dough to your pie pan by delicately folding it in half and half again (so it looks like a quarter of the circle), and then unfold into the pie pan. I put the crust in the pans back into the fridge another 30 minutes to prevent shrinkage when baking. And I didn't roll out the top crust at this point. It only takes a second to roll it out and cut the shapes so I did that once I filled the pies.

I pre-baked the bottom, so preheat the oven to 450°F.
Poke holes in your pie crust with a fork or use parchment paper and pie weights and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and let it cool.

I made this only with fresh berries, but you could certainly make it with frozen berries.


3/4 c. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. lemon zest

4-5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, pick out stems and shriveled berries. I used 4 cups for mine.

Almond or soy milk for brushing on your top crust (if you choose to have a top) and granulated sugar for sprinkling on top.


If you are using frozen blueberries, let them sit out for about 15 minutes and then strain the juice.

Keep the oven at 450°F.

For the top crust, you can either use another whole crust, make a lattice design, cut shapes with a cookie cutter, or leave it off. If using, roll the crust and leave it in the fridge until you are ready.

In a big bowl, combine/whisk the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

When the mixture is combined, fold in the blueberries.

That's it! Then put the mixture into your pre-baked pie crust. Cover with the other crust (with steam slits) or crust shapes, if you are using. Lightly brush with the almond or soy milk and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes (shorter if you are doing smaller pies). Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and put a cookie sheet under the pie pan to catch drippings, and cook for another 25-35 minutes until the berries and juice are bubbly. If your edges get too brown, wrap them with strips of foil.

When you take out the pies, let it/them cool for at least 1 hour and preferably 3 hours before cutting and eating. The pies can stay out at room temperature for several days.

Enjoy plain or with (vegan) ice cream!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Making the Message

If you've checked out my other site, Shoe Daydreams, you know that I am a big fan of Etsy and the many artists who work there.  I recently found Julep115 and loved her whimsical animal designs paired with meaningful messages.

Christy, a vegan, sells her "Earth and Animal Friendly" from Texas.  I love so many of her pieces... and what they're each saying...

As a lover of hens I was immediately drawn to her "Vegan" chicken piece and asked if I could have one made for me for my up-coming 3 Year Vegan-versary. 

It turned out splendidly and I'm so happy to wear it.  It's light and comfortable and it makes me glad to wear my vegan message near my heart.  It especially looks great paired up with my Wendy Brandes "Chicken on Nest" necklace.